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dandelion

[dan-dl-ahy-uh n]
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noun
  1. a weedy composite plant, Taraxacum officinale, having edible, deeply toothed or notched leaves, golden-yellow flowers, and rounded clusters of white, hairy seeds.
  2. any other plant of the genus Taraxacum.
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Origin of dandelion

1505–15; < Middle French, alteration of dent de lion, literally, tooth of (a) lion, translation of Medieval Latin dēns leōnis, in allusion to the toothed leaves
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dandelion

dandelion

noun
  1. a plant, Taraxacum officinale, native to Europe and Asia and naturalized as a weed in North America, having yellow rayed flowers and deeply notched basal leaves, which are used for salad or wine: family Asteraceae (composites)
  2. any of several similar related plants
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Word Origin

C15: from Old French dent de lion, literally: tooth of a lion, referring to its leaves
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dandelion

n.

early 15c., earlier dent-de-lioun (late 14c.), from Middle French dent de lion, literally "lion's tooth" (from its toothed leaves), translation of Medieval Latin dens leonis. Other folk names, like tell-time refer to the custom of telling the time by blowing the white seed (the number of puffs required to blow them all off supposedly being the number of the hour), or to the plant's more authentic diuretic qualities, preserved in Middle English piss-a-bed and French pissenlit.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper